Yesterday, I took a new hiker on a hike. I wanted to do Welch Dickey for a few reasons. I know the hike as I’ve done it twice. It has a little bit of everything (see my prior post about it). It isn’t too far north (he was coming from Massachusetts). It’s a little over 4 miles without an insane amount of elevation gain. And the views are really great.
HOWEVER. There are several granite slabs that are steep and become incredibly slippery when wet. The forecast showed that the rain would end the afternoon before, giving time to dry out the slabs. We met at noon at the trailhead…and it had rained some that morning. We decided we would head up and see how bad it was, and turn around if needed.
The hike up to the first viewpoint is slab-free. The large granite slab at this point is mostly horizontal, so not an issue. Another overcast day, and the foliage is a little past peak, but still a nice view.
We got to the first steep granite slab and while it was nervewracking, we made it. His shoes seemed to grip better than mine, or he’s just braver than I, as he got up it seemingly with no problems. So we decided to continue on.
On one of the particularly steep and slippery granite slabs, I ended up crawling on hands and feet. Until my feet slipped, then it was hands and knees. However, knees on granite does not feel good, so I ended up sort of sitting on my hip, and using my upper body to scooch my way up the slab. I remarked that I must look something like this…
Steve laughed. Walked up the slab just fine. Sat down and had a snack while I armed my way up the slope. Yeah, enjoy your freaking Kind bar, Steve. 😉
After several comments by me, “Yeah, I think that was the last of the granite slabs”. And responses by Steve, “huh, this looks like another granite slab”. We made it to the summit of Welch!
As we take in the view from Welch, Steve says “we aren’t climbing those, right?!”. To which I reply, “Of course not, but do you see that person crossing the top? Yeah, we have to do that. In the rain. Next to that drop off. It’ll be fine.”
A few slips, sketchy natural stairs, “I can’t believe this is a ‘beginner’ trail”, and a shit ton more granite slabs later and we were on our way to Dickey.
The ledges are normally just a tiny bit scary if you’re afraid of heights. However, on this hike, it had spritzed some during our hike and they were wet, and slick. And not much room for error if you slipped. Steve wondered aloud what to do if I fell, since I’m the one with the emergency beacon.
We survived. Maybe even had fun? He said he’d do it again if it was dry, so I’m calling that a win. We also hit a nearby brewery (Woodstock Inn and Brewery) after so I could qualify for my Views and Brews patch!